What Is Pelvic Floor Therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment method that uses physical therapy principles to provide a structured, effective, and safe reconditioning of pelvic floor muscles. The treatment’s goal is to improve the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles while also alleviating pain, weakness, and dysfunction in the muscles. During treatment, a skilled physical therapist accesses the muscles through the rectum or vagina and makes manipulations on them to help enhance their strength and function. If the muscles are short and contracted, the therapist may stretch them or apply resistance to improve strength if they are weak and dysfunctional.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Your pelvic muscles cannot relax or work together as they should when you have pelvic floor dysfunction. If you can’t relax these muscles and can only tighten them, you may have:

  • Constipation 
  • Peeing frequently 
  • Trouble controlling your bowels or urine, resulting in leaks 
  • Pain during sex in women 
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

Experts aren’t always sure what causes pelvic floor dysfunction. However, the following may trigger it:

  • Pelvic surgery
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Overuse of the pelvic muscles 
  • Serious injuries to the pelvic area

Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a type of physical therapy that is used to treat the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and to help the muscles function properly. This includes a variety of exercises that will help your pelvic muscles relax and strengthen.

A physical therapist will learn more about your symptoms when you begin pelvic floor therapy. 

Your physical therapist will examine your core muscles to determine their strength and endurance. Your physical therapist will also have you try different activities and positions to assess the coordination of your pelvic floor muscles.

Your assessment helps your physical therapist create the best pelvic floor physical therapy plan for you. Internal and external therapy will most likely be used in your treatment. However, they will not begin internal therapy until you are ready, which can be uncomfortable for some individuals.

The main goal of pelvic floor physical therapy is to relieve your symptoms so you can resume your normal activities. This includes being able to better control your bladder or participating in sports and exercises you enjoy.

Physical therapy can also alleviate the discomfort and pain that women may experience during sex. Some exercises may help them become more aware of their muscles and have better orgasms.

Exercises and Techniques

Techniques or exercises used in pelvic floor physical therapy may include:

  • Trigger point therapy

This technique applies pressure to a trigger point on your body, either internally or externally. Your doctor or physical therapist may also inject anesthesia into the area.

  • Kegels

Kegels are a popular exercise that involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. This exercise can help relieve sex-related pain and control incontinence. Your physical therapist can show you how to do Kegels so that you get the most out of this exercise.

  • Electrical Stimulation

This technique helps in the relief of pelvic pain and muscle spasms. Your physical therapist may perform this in the office or teach you how to do it at your home with the help of special equipment.

  • Biofeedback

This approach uses devices to monitor the contraction of your pelvic floor muscles. Your Physical Therapist will most likely use biofeedback to track your exercise progress and identify areas for improvement. Electrodes may be placed outside your body, such as between the vagina or anus. They may also use an internal probe to assess the tension and relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles. The results are displayed on a computer screen, and your physical therapist will discuss them with you.


Our therapists at Elite Health and Wellness in Kearney, NE, have extensive training in pelvic floor health, allowing them to effectively address our patients’ issues as they progress through life stages. Please contact us at (308) 455 1500.